Hydrogen energy storage innovation coming to market soon?

Enea Operator, the West Pomeranian University of Technology in Szczecin and the University of Szczecin are involved in the H2eBuffer research project. As a result, a system for storing energy and stabilizing the power grid is to be created, which will use green hydrogen produced from renewable energy installations.

The essence of the H2eBuffer project is to develop a system solution that stabilizes the operation of electricity distribution networks, which will contribute to increasing the efficiency of electricity management, increasing the flexibility of the network in terms of the possibility of connecting new producers of energy from renewable sources. The solutions developed under the H2eBuffer project are expected to increase the security and reliability of the network by improving the quality parameters of the energy supplied.

  • In our project, firstly, ecological electricity generated by the sun or wind will be converted into hydrogen, which we will store. We want to use the green hydrogen obtained in this way for two purposes. The first is to store surplus electricity from RES and convert hydrogen back into electricity at times when electricity from RES will be scarce. This is a very innovative solution and proves the innovation of our project on an international scale. The second, complementary goal is to use the surplus of produced hydrogen to power, for example, electric cars of the distribution system operator – explains Prof. Stefan Domek, H2eBuffer project manager.

The project started at the beginning of January 2021 and its completion is planned for the end of 2023. Work on H2eBuffer has been divided into 5 stages. Each member of the consortium carries out its tasks in a specific sequence. Currently, the works under the first stage, for which the University of Szczecin is responsible, are nearing completion.

  • The University of Szczecin carries out two of the five stages. The first covers industrial research and the second covers development research. In the first place, the research will consist in developing a theoretical model of the system architecture. Hydrogen supply chains require analysis from renewable energy supply through production to distribution. We will analyze all this in terms of technical, economic and logistic, formal and legal and location factors – informs Dr. Marzena Frankowska, project coordinator from the University of Szczecin.

A detailed technical and technological design of the hydrogen energy buffer will be developed in the second stage. The complete system will consist of three main parts: a hydrogen generator electrolytic module, a hydrogen storage module, and a hydrogen fuel cell module.

In addition, H2eBuffer will include auxiliary modules necessary for the operation of the entire system: the power module, i.e. the main hydrogen generator and the general module of the entire system, and the inverters module responsible for returning energy to the power grid.

  • Thanks to the cooperation and commitment of the Szczecin scientific community, we will be the first in Poland to test an innovative energy storage solution on our energy network using the ecological fuel, which is green hydrogen. The development of hydrogen technologies is one of the priority elements of the National Reconstruction Plan and the future of energy. The Enea Group is already implementing and testing modern solutions that will constitute an important contribution to the transformation of the Polish economy – comments Rafał Mucha, Enea’s vice president for finance.

The H2eBuffer project is implemented under the call for Application Projects 4.1.4 from the Intelligent Development Operational Program 2014-2020, implemented at the National Center for Research and Development.

The total value of the project is almost PLN 13 million. The maximum level of reimbursement from the European Union funds is approximately PLN 6.5 million.

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